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Breast Biopsy

(continued)

How It Is Done continued...

The needle is removed. Pressure is put on the needle site to stop any bleeding. A bandage is put on. This may be repeated several times to make sure enough tissue samples were collected.

A core needle biopsy takes about 15 minutes.

Stereotactic biopsy

A stereotactic biopsycamera.gif is done by a radiologist. The biopsy is done in a radiology department.

You will take off your clothing above the waist. A paper or cloth gown will cover your shoulders. You will lie on your stomach on a special table that has a hole for your breast to hang through. A mammogram or MRI is used to find the exact site for the biopsy.

Your doctor numbs your skin with a shot of numbing medicine where the biopsy needle will be inserted. Once the area is numb, a small cut is made in the skin. With a special X-ray to guide the needle, it is put into the suspicious area. Usually, more than one sample is taken through the same cut. You must lie still while the biopsy is done.

The small cut made for the needle does not usually need stitches. Pressure is put on the needle site to stop any bleeding. A bandage is put on. A small metal marker (clip) is usually placed in the area where the biopsy sample was taken. This is done to locate the exact spot where the tissue sample was taken.

The metal marker will stay in your breast if you do not have cancer. You will not be able to feel it, and it will not set off metal detectors. You can still have an MRI safely. When you have mammograms in the future, the radiologist will be able to see the metal marker.

This type of breast biopsy takes about 60 minutes. But most of this time is needed for the mammogram or MRI and finding the area for the biopsy.

Vacuum-assisted biopsy

A vacuum-assisted biopsy is done by a radiologist or a surgeon. This method may be used for a core needle biopsy or a stereotactic biopsy. The biopsy may be done while you sit or lie on an examination table. Or you will lie on your stomach on a special table that has an opening for your breast. A mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI is used to find the exact site for the biopsy.

Your doctor numbs your breast with a shot of local anesthetic. Once the area is numb, a small cut is made in your skin. A hollow probe with a special tip is put into the breast. Tissue is gently vacuumed into the probe. With this type of biopsy, the doctor can take more than one sample without removing the probe.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 18, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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